fish aggregating

Fish aggregating devices in the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (Reef Authority) has released its draft policy on fish aggregating devices and artificial reefs for public consultation. 

The draft policy prohibits the use and installation of fish aggregating devices (FADs) and artificial reefs across the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

The Reef Authority’s General Manager, Major Projects Ian Walker said the draft policy was substantially the same as its interim policy, which has been in place since October 2020.

“We have used the best available science to underpin the draft policy, with research showing the fish attracting devices and artificial reefs do not support the long-term protection of the Reef,” Mr Walker said.

“Sustainable fishing is a key objective of the Reef 2050 Plan, with fishing impacts identified as a key threat to the Great Barrier Reef in successive outlook reports.   These devices increase the catchability of fish.

“The Reef Authority is the lead management agency for the Reef, and we use a range of tools to manage the multiple-use Marine Park.

“This includes regulations, zoning, plans of management, permits, policies and guidelines and research, as well as ensuring management adapts to changes in the environment.”

Members of the public have three months to lodge their submissions on the draft policy through the Reef Authority website.

For more information please visit the consultation underway section on the Reef Authority website.

As you know, FQ runs a successful FADs program outside of the marine park and they have been part of a dedicated program to boost fishing opportunities for pelagic fish, such as mahi mahi.

Submissions close on 13 April 2023.

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